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IV - GENERAL REMARKS
16. Several works of importance have either been completed or pushed forward during the year.
The Electric Tramway route was inaugurated, or at least the first section of it, on 30th July, the remainder coming into use shortly afterwards.
The Ordinance authorizing this train way was passed in 1902. Plans were prepared by Messrs. Alfred Dickinson & Company of Birmingham and the work was carried out by Messrs. Dick, Kerr & Company of London.
The total length of single track is 14 miles which is laid in 9 1/4 miles of route, the track is laid to a guage of 3' 6" with rails of the girder type weighing 86 lbs. per yard. Each rail joint is double bonded with No. 0. S. W. G. copper bonds.
The line is worked on the overhead trolley system, the pressure on the trolley wire being 500 volts. The generating station, centrally placed, is fitted with two continuous current, direct connected railway generators of the multipolar type, compound wound giving a potential of 550 volts and making 100 revolutions per minute and are keyed direct to the engines which are of the horizontal cross compound type, each being equal to a maximum brake load of 557 brake horse power. The boiler power is supplied by two double drum "Babcock and Wilcox" water tube boilers each having 3,654 square feet of heating surface evaporating 12,000 lbs. of water per hour, working at a pressure of 100 lbs. per square inch.
Twenty-six cars in all are provided for the passenger traffic since running commenced, the traffic in spite of drawbacks has been operated in a successful manner.
The maintenance of the track will however be a source of constant trouble, the concrete apparently not being able to stand the incessant wear and tear of ricksha traffic.
Interference by induction with the Government Telephone system is being caused, but the matter is under the consideration of the Government who have powers to deal with the matter under Ordinance 10 of 1902.
The Naval Yard Extension.
The general reclamation here is approaching completion. The walls of the tidal basin and the sea walls are, in great part, ready for the coping. The dock bottom is nearly completed and the dock walls are well advanced. The reclamation, West of the dock, and the diversion of the Albany Nullah are finished.
Extension of Naval Hospital, Mount Parish.
A new wing has been added to this building and completed during the year.
Duplication of Mount Parker Tramway.
This cable car route at the Tai Koo Sugar Refinery has been doubled during the year.
Messrs. Butterfield & Swire's New Docks and Shipyard, Quarry Bay.
This Shipyard is still in progress.
The side walls of the Graving Dock being completed for two thirds of the length and the remainder in progress.
Excavation of “Dumpling” is well advanced, and that for the Entrance is being proceeded with.
The Coffer-Dam enclosing the Entrance of the Dock is completed and the Coffer-Dam for the Slipways well advanced. The excavation for the Slipways is also being proceeded with.
The General Excavation for the site of the yard has been carried on throughout the year and very good progress has been made ; a large quantity of rock and decomposed granite has been tipped into the sea for the Reclamation, which is also well advanced.
Sharp’s Memorial Hospital, Mount Kellet.
This building has been rapidly pushed forward and is now nearing completion.
The New Military Hospital, Bowen Road.
This building has been in progress for over two years and is now nearing completion.
New Military Prison.
This building situate to the East of Garden Road was also commenced this year and good progress was made with it.
Tramway to the Peak.
A Bill was read a first time in the Legislative Council on 22nd September, 1904, for a second Tramway at the Peak, which is proposed to be constructed from the foot of Ice House Street through the Botanical Gardens and Glenealy Ravine and up to a point near No. 6 Police Station, Victoria Gap.
The following reclamations were also in progress :—
Marine Lot No. 285, Shaukiwan Road, 201,132
Kowloon Marine Lot No. 83, Hunghom,. 129,750
Kowloon Marine Lots Nos. 74 & 75, Kowloon Point, 382,522
Kowloon Marine Lots Nos. 34 &81, Blackhead's Point, 74,996
Kowloon Marine Lot No. 85, To Kwa Wan, 140,000
Those at Kowloon Point were well advanced at the close of the year, the total amount of reclamation involved in the above amounting to 21.31 acres.
Buildings on the Praya Reclamation
The "Alexandra" Buildings were completed this year and occupied, also the "St George's" Buildings and the South-East Block of "Princes" Buildings.
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A new contract with somewhat more stringent terms as to the provision of granite for the carrying on of the work was entered into with Mr. Chan A Tong Junior, in December.
49. (Item 7.) Tsim-sha-tsui Market.—There was no vote on the 1904 Estimates for this work though noted therein.
50. (Item 8.) Wanchai Market Extension.—This work begun in April. 1903, was completed early in the year at a total cost of $4,327.91, giving accommodation for 27 new stalls.
51. (Item 9.) New Western Market.—Fair progress was made with this work during the year, the walls to North and South block being built 12 feet 3 inches, and walls to Market 12 feet above ground floor level respectively.
The main arches to principal entrances on North and South fronts were practically completed at the close of the year.
The cast iron columns and steel work to floors were delivered on the site during the month of December.
52. (Item 10.) Post Office.—Work on the Foundations contract was commenced at the end of 1903, and at the end of 1904 all the excavation had been done and 1,385 piles driven out of a total of 1,722 to be put down. Some delay was caused by a ship with a load of piles being wrecked. Great difficulty has been met over these foundations owing to the freedom with which the sea water finds access to the excavations through the loose rubble foundation to the Praya Wall and Culvert on the East side of the works. Difficulty was also experienced in getting the piles in the East trench down to a reasonable depth owing to the presence of the loose rubble under the culvert. This has necessitated some modification in the foundation plan, iron joists being introduced into the concrete base to tie the shorter piles in with those which have gone down to the full depth.
The necessary plans and specifications, &c., were prepared by Messrs. Denison, Ram & Gibbs and tenders for the superstructure will probably be called for in April, 1905.
53. (Item 11.) Prison on Stonecutters' Island.—Beyond preparing drawings nothing could be done here until the new Gunpowder Magazine at Green Island was completed as it was intended to construct this Prison on the site of the present Gunpowder Magazine.
54. (Item 12.) Public Bath-Houses, Pound Lane.—This work begun in 1903 was finished in March. The total cost was $10,593.94 including gas fittings subsequently put in. The bath-house has accommodation for 28 men and separate cubicles for 10 women. There is a hot water installation, and quarters for the caretaker. It has been much used by both sexes since its opening.
55. (Item 13.) Public Latrines and Urinals.—Two public urinals were erected in Connaught Road of 8 divisions each, one opposite Marine Lot No. 54 and one opposite Marine Lot No. 224, and a public urinal of 8 divisions was erected in Upper Station Street, The urinals on the Praya are of granite with tiled floors and walls. That in Upper Station Street is of brick with tiled floors and walls. They are all fitted with earthenware urinals and automatic flushing tanks.
A public latrine with 20 seats and 2 urinals was erected on the West side of Bowrington Canal. The building is of brick and plaster and the urinals are fitted with an automatic flushing tank.
56. Under a special vote a public urinal asked for by the Sanitary Board, close to the Chair Shelter at the Peak, was begun in July and was nearly completed at the end of the year. This structure is of the granite rubble type with dressed stone facings. It has an independent water supply and is specially carefully drained owing to its position.
57. (Item 14.) Public Mortuary, Hill Road.—The work was started in 1903 and completed in May, at a total cost of $17,603.73, a full description of them is given in the previous year’s Report.
84. (Item 33). Albany Filter-Beds, Alterations and Repairs.—A contract was let in June to Messrs. Sang Lee & Co. for a part of the excavation. The main difficulty with this work in order to carry it out at an economical rate is to find suitable tipping places for the excavated materials. Terraces have been formed with this material near Macdonnell and Kennedy Roads. These will be turfed and channelled in readiness for the rainy season.
It is the intention to enlarge the existing filter beds and construct one new bed, this will necessitate the removal of the watchman’s bungalow. There will be an increase of two-thirds of the filtering area over the existing filter-beds.
85. (Item 34.) City and Hill District Water-works (1896 Scheme).—The Mt. Gough Reservoir contract (a part of the Scheme) was described in the last Report. It was finally settled up in April. The works have proved satisfactory after the six months’ maintenance. The water from this tank supplies the eastern portion of the Peak District.
86. (Item 35.) Kowloon Water-works Gravitation Scheme.—Fair progress has been made on the various sections of this work which is being carried out under the supervision of Messrs. Denison, Ram and GIBBS.
(i.) Storage Reservoir.—The concrete work on the main dam was commenced on the 6th January and by the end of the year the dam had been built to 373 feet, above Ordnance Datum (the lowest part of foundation being 342 feet). The work done during the year comprises 9,600 cubic yards of cement concrete, 9,200 cubic feet of dressed masonry and 100 cubic yards of rubble masonry.
A commencement was made with the excavation for the bye-wash dam and about 3,000 cubic yards of soil were removed.
The Bungalow was completed and is now occupied by the Overseer in charge of the work.
A road diversion about 1 mile in length which will take the place of the present path crossing the site of the Reservoir was put in hand and the earthwork completed.
Indents have been prepared and forwarded for the outlet gear for valve well and for the sluices and recording gear for the Bye-wash.
(ii.) Service Reservoir near Kowloon-tong.—The contract date for the completion of this work was 30th June. A bonus was offered for earlier completion with a view to making use of the reservoir during the summer rains, the offer however did not produce the desired result and the work was not completed till 10th August.
The reservoir is circular, 150 feet in diameter and 20 feet deep, it has a capacity of 2 million gallons, top water level is 255 feet above Ordnance Datum.
It is now being used in connection with the supply to Kowloon.
In connection with this work a meter-house was built near the Tai Po Road and the Venturi Meter fixed there to measure the whole supply to the Peninsula.
(iii.) Tunnels, Site for Filter-Beds, &c.—This contract comprises the levelling of a site for the Filter Beds and laying an 18" cast iron main from this site in one direction to the Storage Reservoir, and in the other direction to connect with the 12" main already laid under Contract No. 2, and the necessary cuttings, tunnels and bridges.
The levelling of the Filter-Beds site has been completed with the exception of a little rock cutting.
The deep cutting on the pipe line from the Storage Reservoir which had attained a depth of 80 feet was partially filled in by the collapse of the shoring during heavy rains in August, the loose soil has now been mostly cleared away and the cutting recommenced.